Two for Tate

November 30th, 2012
Rios Jewel

Tate and Laura Bennet and Bella Anderson with Rios Jewel.

Tate Bennett held the top score of 221 points from all first go-round contenders, before he even rode to the herd yesterday. His performance aboard Nothing To Lose on Monday had secured the lead.

Yesterday Rios Jewel delivered his own gem of a performance and another 221-point score for Bennett.

“We did a little more than we planned to do, but it worked,” said Bennett. “It was a little bit scary because he is so cowy, sometimes he gets a little hard to cut on.”

Bennett, 28, grew up ranching and roping. But when he scored 225 points on Reyn Maker to win the 2011 NCHA Open Super Stakes Limited finals, it was just his third time to show in Fort Worth.

Before the 2011 Super Stakes, Bennett mainly bought yearlings and trained them as 2-year-olds to sell as Futurity prospects. He and his wife, Laura, live in Hereford, Tex., where Laura’s father, Joe Perrin runs up to 5,000 head of cattle.

“I doctor all of my father-in-law’s horses and he lets me work them,” said Bennett. “So I am able to keep a lot of good cattle in front of my horses. We rope on them and drag calves and I think that helps get them broke and makes them stronger.”

Reyn Maker, now owned by non-pro rider Michelle Anderson, has earned $108,336, and was the first horse that Bennett trained and showed himself.

“A lot of people made fun of me when I bought him — he was real leggy and kind of wormy,” said Bennett of Reyn Maker. “I didn’t give much for him, but when I walked in his stall, I knew I wanted him. I really liked his personality and it always stayed that way.”

Rios Jewel is another “ugly duckling” turned swan, although Bennett said people still comment about his short ears and neck and less than pretty head.

“He’s a horse that no one would have given much of a chance the way he’s made,” said Bennett, who purchased Rios Jewel from his breeder, JRS Quarter Horses, Catoosa, Okla., as a 2-year-old.

“But I was kind of partial to him because he’s out of the same mare as a horse I trained that Ronnie Rice was second on in last year’s Futurity (Jewel Bars Cat, LTE $184,686). They have a lot of similarities.

“He’s just like the Little Engine That Could,” Bennett added. “He always tries and he is so quick and cowy, he can overcome a lot of things because of it.

“He has never really wanted to do it my way, yet I can’t take it away from him. He loves a cow and he loves his job.”

High Brow Cat son Nothing To Lose, also owned by Bennett, was a $32,000 purchase at the 2010 NCHA Futurity Sales.

“It took a while to get him to flow like I wanted him to and get settled into the ground,” said Bennett. “But he has a presence about him and even when I struggled with him, whenever someone else was watching, they would tell me how good he looked.”

Rios Jewel was not the only high-scoring horse on Thursday that Bennett has had a hand on recently. Shesa Hollywoodcat, shown by Phil Rapp for Ray Baldwin, Fort Worth, Tex., was also trained by Bennett and purchased by Baldwin at the Brazos Bash this past September.

“She a wonderful mare and Tate did a great job with her,” said Rapp who scored 219 points, the go-rounds second-highest score, on the High Brow Cat daughter.

“I was teasing him and told him if she’s as good as his other horse, I should have left her with him and caught rode for him.”

Rapp also scored 219 points earlier in the week on Manytimes, by One Time Pepto, owned by Baldwin’s parents, Louis and Corliss Baldwin, Waco Bend Ranch, Graham, Tex.

Tom Shelly with Cats Me If You Can; Tom Dvorak on Pippis Longstocking; and Tag Rice with PRF Badgers Goldmine, also earned scores of 219 points.

A serving of Rice

Boyd Rice

Boyd Rice.

The surname Rice can usually be found among event leaders, as it is this week in the first go-round.

In addition to Tag with 219 points on PRF Badgers Goldmine, and 215.5 points on Chiquita Pepto, for Tooter Dorman, Oakwood, Tex., Boyd Rice scored 218 points on Botero, by Reys Dual Badger, for Wagonhound Land & Livestock, Douglas, Wyo., then came back in the next set to mark 217.5 points on CR First Tuff, by Woody Be Tuff, for Center Ranch, Centerville, Tex.

Ronnie Rice, Tag’s father and Boyd’s uncle, showed CR Tuff Hearted Cat, also  bred and owned by Center Ranch and sired by Woody Be Tuff, to earn 217 points.

Tatum Rice, Boyd’s son, scored 217 points riding Hisstereya, by Dual Rey, for Jennifer and Jeff Foland, Weatherford, Tex., and 216.5 points aboard Reyhanna, by Dual Rey, for Kevin and Sydney Knight, Scottsdale, Ariz.